A Right Old Two & Eight

Plans are afoot to make the terminally ill work in order to receive benefits. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened the story, shared on Facecrack just now, as I had just finished the most recent part of a new story set in near future Britain where the narrator is recounting facing an eerily similar situation himself. (Very rough unfinished draft here) This comes as the latest in a wave of horrifying attacks from the millionaires in Whitehall against the working people of this island. Attacks that have seen people starving to death, taking their own lives to be free of the hardships and humiliations heaped upon them, dying because they can’t afford to refrigerate their medication, thousands upon thousands of people forced to resort to charitable handouts from food banks. On and on it goes, colder and colder it grows.

I’m reminded of the introduction to Alan Moore’s masterful analysis of the Thatcher regime, V for Vendetta, in which Moore says:

Naivete can be detected in my supposition that it would take something as melodramatic as a near-miss nuclear conflict to edge England towards fascism.

“It’s 1988 now. Margaret Thatcher is entering her third term of office and talking confidently of an unbroken Conservative leadership well into the next century. My youngest daughter is seven and the tabloid press are circulating the idea of concentration camps for persons with AIDS. The new riot police wear black visors, as do their horses, and their vans have rotating video cameras mounted on top. The government have expressed a desire to eradicate homosexuality, even as an abstract concept, and one can only speculate as to which minority will be next legislated against. I’m thinking of taking my family and getting out of this country soon, sometime over the next couple of years. Its cold and its mean spirited and I don’t like it here any more.
Goodnight England. Goodnight Home Service and V for Victory.
Hello the Voice of Fate and V for Vendetta

It is cold here. It is cold and mean spirited. I’ve never been the biggest fan of what passes for ‘British culture’ but now it seems that all the bitterness and spite that sits quietly poisoning our society is coming to the fore. We’re luckier than some, the Family Strange, as C and I both have, hard won, university educations and so have at least the potential of finding jobs that will allow us to escape these small minded tiny islands.  Is it right to consider jumping ship merely because we can? Are we rats deserting a sinking ship? Should we not stay and try to fight alongside our fellow islanders? Our class? But that means that we likely condemn Little Ms X through our choices. At least if we flee then we allow her the potential to grow and live somewhere that isn’t being dragged so rapidly into a Neo-Victorian age of misery and dread. The choice seems made.

Attacking Poverty by Attacking the Poor

According to the BBC the government are increasing the amount that a person can have docked from their benefits to £25 a week. That may not sound excessive if you earning around the national average of £500 a week but when you are getting  £53.45 a week, or £67.50 if you’re over 25, then that’s a massive whack.

Now the more reactionary, and slower of brain, of you will relish this claiming that people punished thus are ‘getting what they deserve’. And you will be, I believe the proper term here is, a twat for thinking that.

Now if someone has to try and live on £28.45 a week and there are no jobs to be had then what is the only other option to provide for themselves. Go on. Take a moment to mull this over.

See, I knew you would make it in the end.

Of course they try to link this all back to the riots. Which again makes about as much sense as letting the Catholic Church look after your kids. People are angry because they are being shat on left and right. because they live in poverty and have little to no chance of alleviating this, well they have one chance, so we’ll make their lives harder by pushing them further into crippling poverty. YAY! Here’s to lateral thinking!

Of the 1,350 people who appeared in court for their part in the unrest that hit the streets of England in August, 40% were claiming a state benefit of some kind, according to official figures.

So, that’s 60%, also known as the majority, of the people involved were working then. Oh wait, what’s this?

And 35% – 500 – were claiming an out-of-work benefit, compared with 12% of the general working population in England.

Soooo. A minority of the people involved were on out of work benefits then? Riiiiight. Twats.

The chorus says it all.